Apple crumble

I made this for mahjong. The first time I made it, I didn’t blog about it. So I couldn’t find the recipe I followed. This is the one I used this time round.

http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cake/apple-crumble-recipe.htm

The first time I made it, the apples were in cubes. This time round was slices. Think slices have a better mouth-feel (I’m translating this literally from Chinese). Some were baked in my cake pan and some in my ramekins (yes I have the right equipment this time round!).

I haven’t got any pictures for the insides but I have a cauliflower looking apple crumble picture from before – so binbin says.

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Ginger snaps

One of my favourite cookie! I finally got my hands on molasses although I’ve been wanting to make this for ages. I have no idea if it’s sulphured or not since there’s no indication but I used it anyhows.

I was looking around for recipes and this recipe goes way back to 1899, plus it is rated 5 star (everything else never seemed to score full marks)! How could I not try this!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grandmas-Gingersnap-Cookies/Detail.aspx

I didn’t manage to shape my dough so they were in lumps like these but they very nicely shaped and flatten themselves at the end!

I followed the recipe timing of 10 mins bake time and it was rather soft to the touch when I poked at it. Thinking it has to be hard inside the oven, I doubled the time till I saw hints of black. Boy was this batch hard. Alright, not rock hard but edible hard. I like my cookies slight soft. Although it’s ginger snap. It’s suppose to snap! O wells, I made the cookies with an array of hardness. So hopefully everyone can get what they want. More molass recipes please!

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Gingerbread cake

This is a flop. My cake turned out like a “fa gao”. Something the Chinese buy for offerings to the Gods. Even that is edible. The top of my cake cracked and inside – was inedible. It was of a dense, sticky and hard texture. I really wonder if it was the sugar or the sulphured molass. Or???? I have no idea! That makes it worse. Any idea anyone?

Not shaming the recipe but myself.. I wonder if I’ll try this again.

http://www.joyofbaking.com/GingerbreadCake.html

I was just looking for something new. Not that I love this. Maybe is the lack of love.

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Green tea Kasutera / Castella cake

Was looking to baking a green tea cheesecake actually but I didn’t have a spring form pan, plus it was too early for Mother’s day cake so I looked around for a green tea recipe to bake. I specially bought green tea (bags) during lunch at Serangoon Gardens then realised most recipe called for matcha powder. Well, I saw some suggestion on processing the green tea leaves in the bag into powder. I opened up 5 bags of Lipton green tea and processed it, only to find that it didn’t really get any finer, if it ever did got finer. I included the whole 5 bags of leaves into Justhungry’s recipe found below.

http://www.justhungry.com/2006/08/oyatsu_and_kasutera_castella_a.html

The recipe was very detailed and gave a lot of tips on making the cake. Me being me, got a little lazy. Did not use the heat to warm the eggs (maybe Singapore is really that hot). And only sieved the flour once (I know I shouldn’t!). Think my laziness got me a less than velvety cake, but I really would like to believe that the less than fine green tea leaves took away the smooth consistency of the cake. I will try it again, without the green tea, just to see for myself if it’s really the cause of it. Nevertheless, it was all yummy!

Anyhows, I took the cake out right of the oven – without cooling it inside the oven. Which resulted in the shrinking of the top. I will probably try cooling it in the oven till is warm before I glaze it and stash it into the fridge to retain the moisture. This is after glazing it with honey on top. I used manuka honey for the cake. Strong and flavorful.

The whole time I was wondering if my cake was brown or green and tempted I was to cut up the cake at midnight (I baked around 5pm) but decided to keep it sealed through the night. All good things must wait.  I had my answer the next day. It was brown =/. But the colour isn’t going to affect the taste because it was great!

The taste was mainly honey and light. There was a hint of green tea when the cake is at room temperature than when I had my first bite right out of the fridge. Fat free. What better way to sell a cake. I had it for tea with a cuppa green tea. Lovelyyy. I think I have a newfound tea time combo – Kasutera and green tea. Cake and coffee had dominated since forever. The new challenger has proven its worth. Many many thumbs up!

Update:

I’ve made it two more times – the second time being the lazy version, no heating of bowl in heat. I also tried warming the milk with green tea leaves. I halfed the sugar and the cake was rather too crumbly. No green tea taste after warming the 3 tea bags in the milk too.  BUT it was totally awesome with Mel’s 2008 Moscato from Wolf Blass!

The recent for Teri’s birthday 20 May 2010 – I actually made 1/4 of the recipe portion, sugar @ 2/3 the required amount. The texture was fabulous. The velvety texture. I beat my eggs and sugar in a metal bowl which was sitting in warm water throughout. I also added 2 tea bags of green tea into batter that filled half of my 6.5inch round cake tin and finally – the green tea taste is distinct enough! Mummy said that a birthday cake should be round as the chinese says, yuan yuan man man. So I did not shave off the sides (since I cannot imagine myself cutting a nice circle out of a circle cake, if you know what I mean.

As I write, I crave for green tea kasutera. Oyatsu time but no kasutera! Time to leave this post.

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Lemon meringue pie

I had leftover egg whites and was deciding between macarons (again!) or something new. Well, once bitten twice shy.. I’m still not ready to attempt the macarons so I gave in to a simple Lemon Meringue Pie – made for snacking during the mahjong session. Recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-lemon-meringue-pie/detail.aspx with many great reviews.

I made 2/3 of the recipe. All but the meringue which was 3/3 of the recipe. Well, I had a really tall meringue pie for my puny oven. The top browned and the middle of the meringue seems a little too soft. (But isn’t it suppose to be that way anyhows?) Popped it back into the oven a few times but didn’t seem to help with cooking the meringue inside so i shaved off the whole top to cook the insides. (Never be so greedy again!) Sad to see my nicely shaped meringue top get chopped off, not that anyone can refute that because I didn’t take any picture hahaha.

I did tweak the recipe – less sugar as always, and this was a little sour. I think I shall follow this recipe religiously the next time, since it was rated to be perfect in terms of sweetness and sour, very balanced.

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Creme brulee

This was an eventful bake day. I bought a bowl which works as a ramekin from Daiso @ $2 over the weekend and was very keen on putting them into use. Creme brulee was the first that came to my mind. One of my favourite dessert and the most heavenly one experienced @ Zucca Ristorante on Castro Street when I was in the States.

The lack of ingredients once again made me attempted a google search on “substitute heavy cream” and the result was butter + milk. And so I did. I too did not own a torch and websites had recommended using the BBQ function in the oven. Which I too, followed, after refrigerating the creme brulee. So here’s the result.

The surface was grainy because the sugar hasn’t totally melted. Yet I couldn’t risk the browned sugar turning into charcoal. The most unfortunate was went i dug into the creme brulee, a layer of oil floated up. The butter was melted by the heat from oven! Unpleasant is a very mild way of describing the taste. However, the second ramekin that held the creme and not brulee-ed did not have have butter floating up like the first. Nevertheless, the taste was wrong.

Never replace unnecessarily. Point reinforced. And whoever said once bitten twice shy! Well, third time is a “gong cheesepie”. =( I did get a little encouragement from the texture of the creme but that’s about it. I will try again.

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Pancakes

My first attempt at pancakes because of request from lil sister. Went pretty smoothly.  Followed recipe from http://southernfood.about.com/od/pancakesandwaffles/r/bl30320u.htm.

Was thinking if might be a little more fragrant if i used butter instead of oil in the recipe. Sister loves a thick pancake. I made one portion worth and  had it with some manuka honey. Yums. I must mention that it would require 1/4 of an egg for 1 person share. I used a whole egg yolk and one tablespoon of egg white instead and it was still great. Will try again with butter. At least this batter turned out much better than the crepe batter recipe I tested before.

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